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Monobath processing B&W film.


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I am from the old school and still process my own B&W film with separate developer and fixer.  I recently learned that there is now a monobath process that uses a tank and about 125 mL of one solution per roll that acts as both a developer and fixer.  It comes as a working solution and not as a concentrate.

 

I bought some HP 400 film and am going to try it out.  I understand that an open bottle has a very limited shelf life, so I intend to batch process many rolls at once instead of my normal habit of just mixing enough for what I have ready to develop.

 

I have seen some decent results on social media and am wondering if anyone on here has tried the process.

 

Jeremy

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Dental X-Ray photographs are usually put through a one bath developer/fixer combination.  In this application, speed is of the essence as they say.

 

Many dental X-Rays are of course taken digitally nowadays, but my dentist still uses X-Ray film. (But he is an old devil - like me. 👍)

 

As I understand the process, the developer has to work really fast so that its job is well and truly done before the slower acting fixer can destroy the undeveloped image.  However once the developers work is done, the fixer can then complete its task without issue.

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What Hugh said - monobath was for speed rather than ease of use or permanency. If you want controllable and repeatable results sticking with the developer/stop bath/fixer/wash sequence is the way to go. As well, what you were doing back in the past in mixing a working strength solution from a concentrate and using it in a one-shot fashion is definitely the best method.
As far as stability goes, there are substitutes for Agfa Rodinal available these days which has long been my developer of choice - it lasts forever in its concentrate form (I'm still using actual Agfa Rodinal in its original packaging, which means before circa 2005 manufacture) and it works just fine at recommended dilutions and processing times even though it is no longer straw-coloured in its concentrate form, but is now very dark brown, almost black. I'd imagine the modern substitutes (such as R09) are made to the original formula and will behave in the same way.

 

 

Edited by Alan7140
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  • 3 weeks later...
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Thanks for the insights gents!  I will give the monobath a try to see how it works.  None of the film is particularly important for archival reasons, so no real loss if it fades in time.

 

For my normal processing I use chemicals from this outfit in the US.  I particularly like how their products work with Kodak TMax film.  

 

I'm about done with my film stock and will try the monobath next week.

 

Jeremy

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I tried out the monobath.  4 minutes and the tank only uses 250 mL of solution.  Results on the HP5 look decent with fairly good contrastimage.thumb.jpeg.8c537b22d85edd687212b01ca5a2e972.jpeg

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